Mobile Pedalpowered Vinyl Machine
Custom vinyl, Customized stationary bicycles, Custom hardware and electonics, Speakers, Sound.
Collaboration with Emily Francisco. An original artwork created for Arlington County, VA as part of the Arlington Art Truck program.
Ongoing, Spring + Summer 2018
image credit: Emily Francisco
A Lesser Light
8-channel surround sound speaker installation: 4 CD changers + 24 CDs + 240 tracks per composition
Series of 4 randomly generated, infinite-length audio compositions
VisArts, Rockville MD
A Lesser Light Each composition in this series is divided into hundreds of unique voices and elements, which are divided among twenty-four CDs, and distributed equally among the four CD carousels. Set to random/repeat, the CDs orbit freely, playing completely arbitrary combinations of sounds through the installation’s eight speakers—completely rearranging the original composition into an infinite–length, randomly generated piece of surround sound.
Andy, Did You Hear About This One? Standing inside the shadow of 2017’s total solar eclipse, I remember daydreaming about the improbability of the event, about how furiously I might be whipping through the galaxy at any given moment, and at that rate, how unlikely it is that I’ll ever be in the same place twice in my entire life. Later I’d watch YouTube users with dim understandings of time zones narrate media photos of the event, searching for flaws and decrying the whole thing as fake news.
"After the Bible’s first imperative—'Let there be light'—God viewed each day’s toil and 'saw that it was good.' Presumably, He, too, had to see it to believe it."
—Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses
Tolling (Womb to Tomb) is a randomly generated musical score informed by the worldwide birth and death rates. Measured in events per minute (258 births to 108 deaths), the data easily converts to structured musical rhythm. In this piece, reversed bell sounds correspond to death tolls while natural bells indicate a birth. Each speaker plays a unique fraction of the corresponding BPM (beats per minute) such that the sum of all eight speakers sounding together over the course of a minute mimics the tempo of the worldwide birth–death metronome.
Theme and Variations is a musical score comprised of over 200 effected shorts composed for piano at the same tempo in the key of F Major. Recorded onto CDs and played at random from four separate stereos, the melodies meander and oscillate between four-part harmony and absolute chaos.
Absence of Anywhere (AbMaj9) I have an audio engineer friend who works at National Geographic, editing and culling audio for television promo spots and travel specials. The footage he receives, mostly of wild creatures or exotic landscapes, has to be shot from hundreds of yards away via telescopic lens or aerial drone. The reason he has a job, he says, is because the original audio from the video isn't what viewers expect to hear; the way these scenes actually sound are too unspecific or boring for TV. So his mission is to redo the audio—pulling samples from a massive sound library to arrange the footsteps, growls, chewing, rustling, and far-off red hawk calls that viewers expect—until the footage sounds realistic.
No Sharps No Flats
Cassette tape, vintage boombox electronics and speakers, wood
Collaboration with Adam Richard Nelson Hughes, Emily Francisco, and twenty-five DC-based musicians.
Transformer, Washington DC
No Sharps, No Flats is a kinetic sculpture built from the innards of thirty vintage cassette boomboxes, through which nearly 30 unique compositions are amplified. Each of these compositions, written by a different DC musician and recorded to tape, are in the key of C Major at a tempo of 120 BPM.
Each tape needs to be flipped twice an hour for the sounds to continue. The audience is invited to flip, stop, or pause the tapes as they wish, creating their own arrangement from all the musical elements.
Most of the tape machines are approaching thirty years old. Over the course of the installation their motors tire and plunge out of sync, the tape stretches and decays on the reels, and eventually the compositions transition from harmony to dissonance.
Axon Xylophone Bridge, the most recent installation by Zerozero Collective (me + Amy Hughes Braden + Yassine El Mansouri + Zaki Ghul), is up and running in Ballston. Pedestrian motion activates light and sound as they travel to and from the Ballston Metro Station building. On display through March 2017.
Photos by Yassine El Mansouri
Oral Histories/Oral Futures
collaboration with Adam Richard Nelson Hughes, Drew Hagelin, Seshat Walker, and Erik Moe
Listeners enter booths and answer payphones to listen to stories from the U Street Public Archive and stories from the future, as imagined by Future Cartographic Society.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Public Library
iOS Application (collaboration with Deloitte Digital and Funk Parade)
DC Funk Parade
Eight-channel composition, users swipe through eight "boomboxes" playing individual mixes, synced to the Apple clock so that multiple users can collaborate to hear the entire composition in harmony.
Just the Tip (Iceberg)
Multimedia installation (with Amy Hughes Braden)
Cafritz Art Center, Silver Spring MD